How To Make Venison Jerky

Making Jerky is not that hard, but I have found a few easy lessons that will help. First make sure to mix your dry seasons separate from your liquids. Once you have added your dry & wet seasons and cure to your whole meat (mix well), let it cure for 24 hours in the refrigerator. I like to keep it in a sealed bag or container, mixing it 3 or 4 times during the 24 hour cure time.

What Meat Cuts To Use For Making Venison Jerky strips

I use the back loins (chops) and the rounds for making my jerky. The rest goes into brats, sausage, venison sticks and burgers. Oh, and hide some from the kids or you might find it gone when you get home from work.

Before making your cuts, it’s easier if you place your venison in the freezer for 20 minutes. Do not let it freeze or you will not be able to cut or slice it. If you have a meat slicer, put the thickness on 6, this will produce a slice about 1/4″ thick. The thickness is up to you and how you like your jerky.

How To Make your Own Venison Jerky Dry & Wet Mix

The dry mix is the cure and spices you like in your meat, and applying it directly will give you the best results. Through trial and error, I found adding your dry spices and cure to your wet mix is just a waste of seasonings, so I do not recommend it. After adding your dry spices & cure to the meat let it sit for at least 6 hours, then add your wet mix. Now that all your ingredients are mix with your venison let it sit for 12 – 18 hours, before drying.

I have tried many different mixes and here is the best one I have come up with for my family. The cure can be bought from a local meat market or butcher shop for a lot less than buying the entire mix, like the Hi Mountain products. However, you can purchase these mixes as well and add your own touches. I buy my cure with brown sugar already added to it from a local butcher shop.

Making Your Own Dry Mix For Venison Jerky

Cure: 2 tsp per 1 pound of whole meat (for a stronger salt taste use 4 tsp per 1 pound)
Black or Red Pepper: 2 tsp per 1 pound of whole meat
Garlic Powder: 2.5 tsp per 1 pound of whole meat
Chili Powder: 2.5 tsp per 1 pound of whole meat
Brown Sugar: 3 tbl per 1 pound of whole meat

Add this to your meat, mix well, and let set for 6 hours. Stir 3 to 4 times during the curing process.

Making Your Own Wet Mix For Venison Jerky

The wet mix is where you can add other taste such as Teriyaki, pineapple, A1, Soy, Barbecue sauce or other flavors you may like. It’s trial and error until you find what works best for your taste.

What To Use for a Jerky Wet Mix

Worcestershire: 2 tbl per 1 pound of whole meat
Molasses or Sorghum: 1 tbl per 1 pound of whole meat
Teriyaki Marinade: 2.5 tbl per 1 pound of whole meat (this is just a teriyaki sauce, so it has a stronger taste)
Lawry’s Teriyaki with pineapple: 4 fluid ounces for 1 or 2 pounds of meat and 6 fl oz for 3 pounds of meat.

How To Dry Meat For Jerky – A Step By Step Guide

To dry the meat I like to use a dehydrator. The drying time depends on the meat type and thickness, so keep checking (only rotate the meat once) until it’s done to your satisfaction. If you add honey, add it after you have already rotated your venison. Here is the dehydrator I use; it’s an American Harvest Snackmaster.


Step 1
Before putting all your meat onto the dehydrator try a few sample strips first. After 1/2 hour turn your sample pieces over and put honey on the top of each piece, put a bead the entire length or circumference of your slices, and leave until dry. The honey will be sticky, but adds sweetness that the family will love. Now taste one, what is it missing? Hear is your chance to add more spices. I like to sprinkle Red Pepper on top for an extra kick, but through trial and error you will soon develop what taste best for you.

Step 2
Now you are ready to add the rest of your strips unto the dehydrator and sprinkle your extra spice (I use Red Pepper here) on the pieces you want to have more kick or bite. Make sure to leave room between each slice for air movement. Now, let the venison slices dry for 1/2 hour before doing anything else. After 1/2 hour turn each slice over and add your honey to each piece, if you want it to be sweat. I do the entire lot this way.

Step 3
Dry until it’s to the texture you like. Note, after drying in the dehydrator it will continue to dry more on its own, if it last that long. I like to let it air dry over night. This adds toughness to the jerky, which is great. Do not over dry in the dehydrator, as this will ruin the taste, toughness, and you will not be happy.

Step 4
Put your jerky into a glass container or a zip lock bag. Those with honey will be sticky, but finger licking good.

For Barbecue jerky click here!

Step 5, Final Results.

Venison Jerky Results